Smoothies have been around for a while, and now juicing is the new trend. Many ask which is better, but the real question should be which is better for YOU. Both juicing and blending are great ways to increase your vitamin and nutrient intake, but there are some benefit differences, and pros and cons to each that you may want to note. Here is a full comparison to help you determine which is right for you and your specific needs.
What’s The Difference?
Definition – Juicing is the process of using a juicing machine to separate fruits and vegetables from their juices; completely discarding the peel, pulp, and fiber. Only the juice is consumed.
PROS – The lack of fiber gives your digestive system a break from having to break down the food, allowing your body to absorb the nutrients into your bloodstream at a much quicker rate. No fiber is helpful for those with a sensitive digestive system or illness that prevents your body from processing it.
– It is nearly impossible to consume the amount of produce it takes to make one glass of juice, therefore juicing allows you to get vitamins and nutrients quicker and easier. Plus, if you don’t really like fruits and/or vegetables, it is much easier to drink them down then to eat them.
– Some vegetables, such as root veggies (i.e beets, sweet potatoes, turnips) don’t blend well and/or will taste bad blended, but are easily disguised with other produce in juices.
Other Advantages of Juicing:
– greens helps to regulate PH balance
– reduces inflammation
– detoxes the body
– increases energy
– aids in weight loss
– boosts immune system
CONS – Produce fiber helps to slow down the digestive process, providing a slow release of nutrients into the bloodstream. By removing the fiber, as juicing does, the juice is absorbed into your bloodstream all at once causing a sudden elevation in blood sugar. Sudden raises in blood sugar can lead to mood swings, energy loss, memory problems, etc. Your juice should be made up of mostly vegetables and less fruit to avoid a sugar spike. Most experts agree that juices should be a ratio of 3:1 vegetables to fruits.
WARNING: Stay away from juicing if you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, or insulin resistance.
– Fiber also helps make you feel full, so without it you will get hungry quicker.
What to Juice:
Some favorites are: kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, carrots, romaine, swiss chard, apples, pineapple, beets, and ginger.
– Drink slowly to give your brain a chance to catch up. Because you are drinking and not chewing solids your brain will take longer to register your calorie intake.
– Certain vegetables like beets and carrots are very high in sugar. Keep in mind what you are putting in your juice and try to have a proper balance.
– Lemons and Limes are great to juice because they eliminate the bitter taste of greens. If your juice is too bitter just add more lemon!
– Whenever possible use organic produce to avoid drinking a mouth-full of pesticides.
Definition – Blending is using a blender to break up the entire fruit or veggie (i.e. leaves, stems, skin, flesh, seeds) until it becomes a thick liquid-like substance: what we call a smoothie.
PROS – Blending breaks the fiber apart which still makes the produce easier to digest than when eating it whole, and allows for nutrients to be gradually released into the bloodstream.
– Smoothies are obviously denser than juice and will therefore keep you feeling full longer.
– Adding a protein like protein powder or almond butter can turn a smoothie into a great breakfast or mini meal.
– Smoothies have more antioxidants than juices – most antioxidants in fruits and veggies are often found in the skin and seeds. These are tossed aside in the juicing process.
Other Benefits of Blending:
– there’s no waste
– promote regularity
– blenders cost a lot less than juicers
– blenders are easier to clean than juicers
– cost of produce – blending uses less produce
– you can add other ingredients such as protein powder, ground flaxseeds and chia seeds
CONS – Using a blender means that the produce is being cut and ground. The blender also slightly heats the ingredients. Heat, along with cutting into fruits or vegetables start the oxidation process, causing loss of vitamins and nutrients.
What to Blend:
Favorites include: bananas, all kinds of berries, avocado, kale, and mango.
– Freeze your produce before blending so your smoothie is cool and refreshing.
– Use organic produce
– Blend greens with water before adding other produce. This will eliminate chunks.
Juicing and Blending Rules
1. Greens can be mixed with any fruit, but it is best not to mix fruit with starchy vegetables such as carrots, beets, broccoli and zucchini. These vegetables mixed with fruit can cause stomach pain, bloating, and gas.
2. It’s best to drink your smoothies and juices right after they’ve been made, They will begin to oxidize after 15 minutes of being exposed to air, killing much of the nutrients that you are after. If you can’t drink it right away put it in a dark, airtight container and refrigerate until you’re ready. Drink within 24hrs.
3. Clean your juicer or blender immediately after use to prevent mold buildup.
4. Stay away from store bought juices. Unless it’s from a very high quality source, you don’t really know what you’re getting.
To get the most from your juices and smoothies it’s important to invest in a good-quality machine. Cheaper blenders and juicers usually introduce heat and oxygen to your smoothie or juice destroying the enzymes and nutrients. While it will most likely cost you more, a cold-press juicer will produce a much better quality juice over a regular juicer and allow you to extract more juice from your fruit and vegetables, saving expense in the long run. The machines themselves will also generally last longer.
Juice Detox –
A juicing detox can be very beneficial to your health. I recommend doing some sort of cleanse (doesn’t have to be juice) at least once a year as a way to reset your system. One should cleanse before a cleanse — Especially if you are used to eating high-fat, processed foods, you need to prepare your body before going on a juice or smoothie cleanse so you don’t shock your system. For 1-2 weeks before going “purely juice” slowly weed out refined sugar, white flour, alcohol, coffee, and processed foods.
If you’re not getting enough fruits and vegetables in your diet then juicing and/or blending can be great ways to get vitamins and nutrients. We need fiber in our diets though, and I personally think it’s best to get it from produce over grains so don’t eliminate eating fruits and veggies all together. Drinking juices and smoothies should be used as a boost to your diet and not to completely replace eating.
Start slow and don’t be afraid to experiment. Start off with veggies that are gentler on the stomach like cucumbers and celery and work your way up to leafy greens. Just remember: more veggies than fruit and you will do just fine!
Resources: mastercleansesecrets.com, foodmatters.tv, blog.rateyourburn.com, drfranklipman.com, nourition.com, drsearswellnessinstitute.org